Bedroom Make Over

Bedroom Make Over

The New House

This blog isn't really about the "home" life and what goes on here. We're far from an interior decorating couple and we're more "we like this" type couple. Perhaps not everyone would like it. Perhaps they might. Who knows?! However now we moved into our new home in August we've been manically painting! We did 5 rooms before we moved in as we had a nice overlap between our rental place and this place. Since then though I've not really had the energy to pick up a paint brush. However the one room "left" was the spare bedroom. With a week off work to use up (as our plans for 2020 have gone down the COVID drain) I decided that it was time to do get the bedroom make over done and dusted!

The Old Bedroom

The room when we moved in was really fine. It was't full of garish wall paper or horrible colours, it was just in a plain magnolia (see picture on the right - this was the right move picture). Now that's fine to live with, but having just come from a rental house where everything was plain magnolia we were a little sick of it! So it was definitely time for a change.

There are a couple of fitted wardrobes in the room already which had to stay, and we were leaving the carpet in place as well. This was going to be a bedroom make over but on a budget!

Jo had found a number of different ideas that we thought about putting in the room. Firstly was the idea of Brick Slips behind the bed. Although these look just fantastic on reading up on the application process, time (and money) we decided that these were not the way forward. I think to do the wall behind the bed would have cost us about £300-400 and we had £200 to do the room!

The next idea was to do a concrete effect painting job. However we had in the rest of the house initially chosen dark colours and then moved over to light - and feared that we would do the same here. So that was then crossed off the list.

Pre Make Over Wall

The changes to be made

So in the end we decided to go for the reclaimed wood look behind the bed combined with a bit of plain white and a feature wall around the wardrobes. This was a difficult decision for us to make, as we are aware that wood comes with risks! For example, wood can attract pests and a company like would have to tend to any issues caused by this. However, it really did look the best. I've really taken to white or just off white as a colour in this house. So many of the rooms we were planning to have a darker shade and just ended up going back to it. I think it allows the furniture and the pictures on the walls to really stand out and come alive more.  A very "blank" canvas as it were.

I had first decided that we weren't going to be replacing the lighting in the room - this would come later down the line. However, I found some really cool items at Neon Mama that we're thinking of putting in the room to really make a feature piece out of lighting. Given our Route 66 trip, I'm sure we might have gone for some cool text or a logo!

We had a seen a number of ideas on pinterest about the reclaimed wood look. However we decided to put our own mark on it and do it our own way. Now if you know me personally I'm not a carpenter. I perhaps take on jobs that I don't have skills for. However I felt this was one job that I could take on...

We found a local man who was selling stripped down pallets that had been plained down for £10 for 10 pieces. Bargain! We needed about 50 pieces so with a bit of extra wood and screws it was going to cost us about £70 to do the wall. Perfect!

Only slightly annoyingly was that the wall was 2.40meters long and the boards were 2.30meters long... This meant that the job was going to need a little more thinking about, although it also meant probably that we could get a slightly different pattern on the wall other than just long strips.

Pre Make Over Wall
Pre Make Over Wall

Putting the wall up

There were a couple of ways that I could have put the wall up. One would have been to screw the boards directly to the wall - but if/when we ever got to take the wall down it was going have a wall FULL of holes. This was going to be a nightmare to fill and bring back to a normal wall, so I decided that it was better to put battens up that were screwed into.

These battens also allowed us to cut the boards into shorter elements which solved my 10cm issue! I spaced the battens out evenly. These were screwed to the wall with raw plugs and then the board placement commenced!

I decided to leave the skirting board and start just above it. It's key here to get the first boards right - start these on an angle then you'll be massively out for the rest of the wall! Although the boards were not perfectly square they were close enough to get a nice straight line. It was then a case of building them up line by line as you would bricks.

This last element was our choice to work in that non overlapping join formation - but of course it could be that you want each one stacked on top of each other. Your choice!

Finished Make Over Wall

Finished Wall

It's then just a case of copy paste and repeat! There were about 24 lines of boards to go along with. The challenge was that different boards had different textures and it was then a case of making sure that the patterns stayed in the same sort of style. Once I had completed the wall I found one that stuck out (see the picture on the left!) but solved that - can you spot it?!

I had to do a bit of work around the socket on one side of the bed. Luckily the socket was at the level as the boards got to it, so all it needed was some extra battens around the socket to screw to.

There is one note of "caution" about using reclaimed pallet wood. You have no idea what was transported or stored on the pallets. Now the guy we bought them from plained them down, but they are still rough to touch. We really like this look - but we're also aware that there could be a risk with the material carrying something.

This is our spare bedroom and is probably used once or twice a month at the moment. Since doing the room we've had the windows open trying to "air" the room as much as we can. You could also look to seal the wood in with a varnish. We haven't done this but if you are looking to use this room all the time its good to possibly look at doing this.

The first part of the Bedroom Make Over was now done!

The Rest of the room

It was now just a case of painting the rest of the room! As I said above we decided to go for a whole room in white apart from the wall around the fitted units. We had a load of white paint left from when we moved in - another reason it was cheap!

I got the walls done in double quick time. No worries about the neat lines in the corner joining walls together it was all white!

For the wall around the fitted wardrobe we went for a soft green that worked with the existing wood. This we had to buy but we managed to get it out of a small 1 litre tin which cost us about £15.

Other jobs that I carried out was to change the light fitting. Although the fitting is really cool with the "pipe" look we wanted the room to have a more focused light look with a lamp shade. I changed the fitting to a ceiling rose and then hung a lamp shade that we had from our old living room. *** NOTE OF CAUTION *** before working on any electrics make sure you isolate your circuits and if you are in any question of what you are doing get an electrician in. I've spent 20 years working in lighting in the entertainment industry so basic electrics is something I'm happy doing.

Side Tables

We already had quite a bit of the furniture for the room from our old house - so there wasn't much else to do. However we had 2 Ikea Nesna tables. These tables had already had a make over and were painted gold, with a marble top. These didn't fit in the new look so I took a can of spray paint to it and painted the top in black.

I then used some of the offcuts of the wood that we had from the wall and put these around the outside. My original plan was to just use the top of them but then was concerned that even if we mounted them to the wall direct they wouldn't take much weight. I therefore cut off one side of the legs and then kept the other side.

Really cheap make over with a £4.99 can of spray paint and some left overs!

Ikea Nesna Table
Finished Make Over Wall

The Bedroom Make Over

Once I had put these tables together it was all about the finishing touches!

We had 3 wall mounted boxes from Ikea that we wanted to put up. These went perfectly with the white walls and the grey bed that we had. We then put up a couple of prints that we had on the walls.

We can't at the moment decide what to do about curtains. The windows already have blinds that were left when we arrived. The house also has shutters on all the windows which look great. May be we'll add curtains in time!

In the end the Bedroom Make over cost us about £120 with all the bit's and pieces as we already had some of it.

What do think to it? Would be great to hear comments below?




  1. October 25, 2020 / 7:54 am

    I love this post! My blog is a home decor niche and I actually released a blog post today containing that same nightstand! Fabulous post and job :).

    • Ben
      October 25, 2020 / 4:57 pm

      Thanks for your comments Lynn!

  2. Mark Crone
    October 25, 2020 / 1:12 pm

    Really nice and simple makeover. And the price was right. I really like the simple and sustainable styl. I would leave the windows as is with the blinds. Nice post.

    • Ben
      October 25, 2020 / 4:56 pm

      Thank you so much for the comment!

  3. October 26, 2020 / 12:52 am

    Can you fly to the US and help me with my spare bedrooms?! This is beautiful! I love the reclaimed wood wall and the lighting. I’ve always admired people who have an eye and talent for interior design and decor. High fives all the way around! Thanks for sharing!

    • Ben
      October 27, 2020 / 7:19 am

      Thanks so much for the nice comments!!


Thanks for coming to the Travelling Salesman Blog. I would really love it if you would subscribe to my blog for updates, news, and more information!

You have successfully subscribed to the Travelling Salesman Blog

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

The Travelling Salesman will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.

Looking for Something?